I haven’t written anything recently because I don’t think there has been anything new to say, and I’ve been busy with other stuff. But I thought that this answer (published yesterday, and too long to tweet) to a question posed in the House of Lords by David Lipsey was very interesting, in the context of the imminent changes to the levy and the legal challenge that the Government is facing. I am sure everyone will have their own view, but I wouldn’t like to be tinkering with something that is only legal on the basis that its existence pre-dates legislation, myself.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what grounds they consider that the Horseracing Betting Levy is compatible with articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con):
The Horserace Betting Levy is an existing state aid which predates the UK’s accession to the EU. It is on that ground that the Government considers the Levy to be compatible with the UK’s obligations under European Union law and state aid rules.